Alistair Brownlee took silver in his comeback to racing at Challenge Barcelona, finishing in 2 hours, 29 minutes, 36 seconds over the 1500-metre swim, 60-kilometre bike, and 15-kilometre run.
It was the dual Olympic gold medalist’s first race since the PTO European Open in Ibiza in May and then undergoing ankle surgery to remove a bone spur in July. Brownlee knocked off the rust here with an eye toward going full gas this coming weekend at Challenge Peguera-Mallorca.
He emerged from the swim out front with Aaron Royle, then pushed the pace on the bike leg in a five-man lead group. On the run, Brownlee took the early lead before engaging in a shootout with Youri Kuelen, each surging against the other until the final two kilometres when Kuelen put on one final surge.
“I just wanted to get into my own rhythm. I knew it would probably get hard at the end and it did get hard at the end. I hung on with Youri for a little bit; I knew with a kilometre to go I just didn’t have anything left,” the British star said post-race
Halfway around the world, Amelia Watkinson powered to a twin silver finish at the Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship in Langkawi, Malaysia. The Kiwi swam and rode in the lead pack and held strong to beat all but one athlete across the finish line.
While Brownlee races in Peguera-Mallorca this weekend, the top women triathletes of the world have descended on Kona for the Ironman World Championship.
The women-only race on the Big Island has drawn a deep field of athletes including previous winners like five-time world champion Daniela Ryf, and those looking to make their Kona debut like Kat Matthews, who was vice world champion over the full distance in St. George last year behind Ryf and more recently became vice world champion over the 70.3 distance in August. Both Bahrain Victorious 13 athletes have already claimed titles over the full distance this year and have shown they know how to win.
Can Ryf take another world title to surpass Chrissie Wellington’s five wins, or will the island gods smile on Matthews and send her tailwinds all the way?